Wednesday, 16 April 2014

NGOs holding stakeholders’ dialogue in observance of Earth Day

IN an effort to revive the spirit of Earth Day observance in Grenada, Friends of the Earth Grenada and the St. Patrick’s Environmental and Community Tourism Organisation, in collaboration with the Non-State Actors’ Panel, will host a stakeholders’ dialogue.

The first since 1992, the proposed dialogue is an attempt to create an enabling platform for all stakeholders to act in concert with an agreed collaborative approach to the challenges facing Grenada and the Caribbean in relation to Climate Change and its impact on our eco-systems and sustainable livelihoods.

“There is a need to organise and unify to build resilience to these challenges and it needs to be now, not tomorrow,” said a press release from the organisers.

The theme of the stakeholders’ dialogue will be “Grenada: Climate Change Impacts and Challenges to Livelihoods”. The stakeholders’ dialogue will take place at the Public Workers’ Union, Tanteen from
8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 22, 2014.

Objectives of the day’s activities are: To share concerns re: environment; To share best practices
re: agriculture, fisheries, forestry, tourism; To contribute to policy for a way forward with clear environment issues that are prioritised for intervention as identified in communities represented at this activity; and To agree on activities for collaboration within a timeline.

The first Earth Day activity was held in the USA on April 22, 1970 and is seen as the day the modern environmental movement was born. In 1990, Earth Day went global, with 200 million people in over 140 nations par-ticipating, according to the Earth Day Network (EDN), a non-profit organisation that co-ordinates Earth Day activities. In 2000, Earth Day focused on clean energy and involved hundreds of millions of people in 184 countries and 5 000 environmental groups, according to EDN. Activities ranged from a travelling, talking drum chain in Gabon, Africa, to a gathering of hundreds of thousands of people at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

In Grenada, Earth Day was first embraced in 1990 (the 20th observance) in response to the rising sea of global consciousness and humanity’s overdue acknowledgement of its obligations to protect, conserve and enhance Mother Earth, the only home of humans and countless other species.

The inaugural celebration staged in the parish of St. Mark’s was spearheaded by St. Mark’s Cultural Association (subsequently Grassroots Ecological Citizens’ Association – GECA) and the Agency for Rural Transformation.

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